Blog Meme Participants, all Some Get Scared and Run For The Hills

File under:
About Design Sojourn

Written by Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Feb 08, 2007


Edit: Amended the title to be more factually correct!

Cornering the link market some say, “counterfeit links” others mention…recently I wrote of the 2000 project that started slowly, gained a lot of momentum, and then just like the darlings of any stock market it fell from grace when the people who write the blogging rules stepped in and started slapping wrists.

I am not surprised, and anyone who knows how these blog ranking systems work should not be as well. As usual, just like the Z-List, what started as a good thing, suddenly gets all crazy, and people who are not on it or even on it cry afoul, some complain to Google and Technorati found out about it, and the whole thing just goes down the drain.

So sadly to prevent Design Sojourn from falling off the overloaded link band wagon, and getting black-marked by Google and Technorati, I’ve decided to remove the entire link collection and only link to the original site which has all the images.

I think this reflects the real spirit of the project and that is having 2000 of the world’s bloggers on one site. It just got out of control when Tino got people to put up the entire set of links on their own site, he has since sadly decided to take it down.

Am I scared? A little, but more scared of the unknown. What I am is a whole lot more concerned as I don’t want almost 1.5 years of quality design articles and design tips to go to waste. It seems Google and Technorati do black-mark such “link farming” activities as I did not get any links from Tino’s new 2000 bloggers blog, and I only found out about this fall from grace from 2nd hand information.

However the negative fallout of such lists only highlight the stupidity of blog ranking systems and the idea of blog popularity based on such rankings. Here at Design Sojourn I get decent traffic not crazy but decent (average 200 unique visitors a day) traffic and that is pretty good for me. Simply because I get a lot of repeat visitors (my repeat page views more than doubles my uniques visitors) and I can take the time to meet and chat with all the people that visit my site personally, either by comments or email. To me cultivating repeat visitors who become my friends is reward enough for me.

Love this post? Subscribe to The Design Sojourn Newsletter, for free, and get the latest content delivered right to your inbox with our 110% NO-SPAM Policy!

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Related Posts You Might Find Interesting:


Ian Kallen
Feb 08, 07 – 1:06 pm

Just to clarify: Technorati is not taking punitive measures against 2000 Blogger participants. What was announced was simply an adjustment to our indexing to filter out copy-and-pasted sets of links since our ranking is premised on links that are more conventional social gestures such as replies and citations. There is certainly a good deal of FUD being posted elsewhere about elitism, coercion, and so forth but given what was actually announced, I hope you’ll see through the subterfuge and feel assured that there’s no heavy hand to be scared of. We’re here to serve you and help you make your voice heard, we’re listening.
best regards,

Design Translator
Feb 08, 07 – 1:18 pm

Hi Ian,

First off thanks for stopping by and leaving these comments. It’s an important gesture as it shows Technorati does take care and looks out for the little guys like myself.

I really apprecieate you dropping by and if I could, I would give you a big hug of relief!

Feb 08, 07 – 8:27 pm

“Blog meme participants all get scared and run for the hills”

– I beg to differ to that collective noun ‘ALL’ get scared? I didn’t get scared and I’m staying put for plain reason that I joined it for FUN. Not what it turned out to be.

I’m seething with anger at people who are too narrow minded, thinking they rule the blogosphere. These are people who are into ranks and complain to Google and Technorati. Maybe they want my share, I’ll gladly give.

Reading your reason, I understand. But don’t generalise that EVERYONE’s scared. I’m not one to hide or run. This is only blogging.


Feb 08, 07 – 11:25 pm

“However the negative fallout of such lists only highlight the stupidity of blog ranking systems and the idea of blog popularity based on such rankings.”

Was wondering when you’d figure this out (though I’d use the term “questionality” in place of “stupidity”). I’ve yet to come across a system that can’t be gamed: reputation systems, per-click based advertising, blog rankings, election systems… whatever. Where there’s opportunity to take advantage of a system for personal gain, there’ll be a crowd of people in line to take a crack at it.

Rather than worrying about rankings and Technorati standings, why not join in on the OHL discussion ( ). That affects Industrial Designers and is potentially an important effort. Right now it appears to be mostly electrical engineers and hardware component people, but it really goes far beyond those things. And besides, you might find that in the end your Reputation standing goes up (and maybe your karmic points as well).

Dawud Miracle
Feb 08, 07 – 11:26 pm

Isn’t this whole thing being blown way out of proportion? What’s the point of our Technorati ranking in the first place?

Feb 09, 07 – 12:47 am

“Isn’t this whole thing being blown way out of proportion? What’s the point of our Technorati ranking in the first place?”

Money, of course.

Feb 09, 07 – 2:17 am

I’m with ipanema on this…i’m not the least bit scared and i’m not even removing the code…that high drama bit about “putatative measures” is hilarious. The self appointed authority is granting us clemency (in a virtual realm no less) for not following their rules for posting on our personal sites that we pay for and work on and expects thanks for it. It’s madness.

Feb 09, 07 – 4:06 am

omigod, I’m spouting Bushisms. Let’s correct this now. ““questionalityâ€

Design Translator
Feb 09, 07 – 8:09 am

Hi Guys,

Fantastic discussion here. I wish I had more comments on my blog like this. I’ll now give some replys individually.

@ipanema, perhaps I over generalized, and it old saying holds true, the people who shout the loudest often get heard. Most of the buzz I have been hearing are people quitting as well as emails to me asking to be removed from the link lists! So apologies. But you are right on one thing, the top bloggers are out right defending their position. I don’t blame them, as csven mentioned its all about money. 6 figure as some claim. They refuse to link to anyone beneath their standing, why? Because of the way Google judges site rankings vs link popularity. If all the top people get together, then its a very high target to break.

I see the Z-list and such blog memes as a wake up call to the top tier bloggers. It shakes up the system, and if they don’t keep up their game, they will get owned. Not only is it lonely at the top, but you always have to look behind you.

@csven, you are right and I knew it all along. But I played along just to see how it turned out. And well I think I got out just at the right time. Hey perhaps its that stock-market player in me? Anyways I’ll take a look at this open source discussion as it seems interesting. And yes blogging has everything to do about Karma. Seen that TV show about this guy making up for his past wrongs as karma is kicking is behind? Love it and I believe in it. What goes around, comes around, and with blogging and the Internet its a whole lot faster. The top tier people are having it coming to them due to a large part of sheer vanity.

@Dawud, fantastic write up, and yes its got a lot to do about marketing. Nice marketing lesson to everyone involved.

@ellamichelle , thanks for stopping by, and highlight an interesting point, the web is organic, and even with systems and rules, people will still find a way and break out of it.

Elaine Vigneault
Feb 09, 07 – 8:14 am

FYI, plenty of us are staying put. We’re not running to the hills. Instead, we took the project to it’s next logical step and we’re in the process of creating a communal blog derived from the 2000 Bloggers. You can go see it at
Take care,

Design Translator
Feb 09, 07 – 8:21 am

Yup, I’ve actually linked up to that site in my original post, and btw I’m still on the list and have not asked to be removed.

Oh also I’m not sure if you know, Technorati has already been moderating the links, more than a third of incoming links to my blog, are not being registered by Technorati. Including all links from 2kbloggers.

So nothing to be worried or concerned about lets keep the community alive, and as I mentioned in my post, the true spirit of this endevour.

Feb 09, 07 – 1:50 pm

Thanks for your response. I know how it is to be on top. So is this a confirmation that those who run to Google and Technorati are from the top tiers? :)

Ha! Good, I’m nowhere in the ranks of Google and Technorati. I am my own self. Ah, pity those who blog for money. Whether you earn BILLIONS, I dont give a d**n. For them to SUPPRESS how people act on the internet to keep their money? Who are they to do that? I hope they can sleep for running to Big Daddy Google and Big Mommy Technorati and reporting gremlins on the rise. Shame on them.

By the way, if they need my humble Technorati ranking, I’ll gladly distribute it. Pity them ya know. :)


Design Translator
Feb 09, 07 – 1:58 pm

Ipanema, WELL SAID! Hang in there and please keep intouch!

Feb 09, 07 – 11:15 pm

We should all remember that while the blog ranking systems out there facilitate the current situation, they aren’t *responsible* for it. We are. Bloggers.

From my admittedly pedestrian understanding, one way we facilitate this situation is through the mismanagement of blogrolls. I don’t keep a large, static blogroll on my site for the simple reason that afaik it helps create what we see: a hierarchy of ad revenue-generating sites that may or may not be frequented by bloggers… or readers. To my knowledge, Technorati doesn’t track readers, it tracks simple URL-based links – including the one’s that many people first add to their blogroll when they start blogging (usually the *cool* sites like boingboing) but never bother to remove (perhaps because they want to *look* like they read the *cool* blogs even if they don’t).

Technorati claims that the links they collect allow them to know “Who’s saying what. Right now.” only that isn’t quite true if they’re counting worthless, unused links in a blogroll. Now imagine how influential a bunch of unused but counted links can be when aggregated across millions of blogs?

Consequently, if people want to start shaking up the system, then I believe they should put in the effort. Don’t keep links in a blogroll on your site if you don’t use them. Clean it up. And keep it short. No one needs a blogroll with dozens upon dozens of links in it. Put those in your browser favorites/bookmarks and only link to those you visit frequently. If you want to *promote* a blog that isn’t a regular stop, then consider a blog entry where you show that you’ve taken some time to digest their content and consider it worth discussing and promoting (and use the trackback).

If people aren’t going to use these tools appropriately and turn them into unwitting promotional vehicles, we’ll continue to have a gamed system. So let’s not jump too quickly on the blog ranking systems. There’s enough blame to go around.

Feb 10, 07 – 6:43 am

I cannot say that I blame you for being concerned with being blacklisted from Google and I agree that it got out of control when Tino got people to put up the entire set of links on their own site. I was one of the 300 that Tino added before others begun to sign up and the entire thing has turned out to be a huge headache trying to get removed from. I wish the project luck.

Design Translator
Feb 10, 07 – 6:53 am

You have made some pretty valid points. I’ve seen many blog rolls that are just lists of top blogs either as an address book or hoping to get link backs. But I have also seen blog rolls, including mine, which are links to people that they know. Kinda like a blog address book. I for one refuse to link to the top blogs, Ill explain a little more at the bottom.

Actually Tecnorati does track readers to a blog. Not only does it track blogrolls or links on your sidebar, it also tracks links in your main posts AND links like your website you have entered when you left a comment here. Thus they do track what people are saying.

Somehow the engine is able to distinguish between links in a blogroll or sidebar that is permanent, and links in your post or comments that gets archived.

I guess (and this is guessing here) that’s why if you look at your technorati rank its a number derived from (xxx links from yyy blogs). Of which the “xxx linksâ€

Feb 10, 07 – 1:49 pm

“Actually Tecnorati does track readers to a blog.”

To my knowledge Technorati doesn’t track visitors. It tracks links. Nothing more.

“Not only does it track blogrolls or links on your sidebar, it also tracks links in your main posts AND links like your website you have entered when you left a comment here. Thus they do track what people are saying.”

Tracking links is *not* tracking “what people are saying”. Technorati only logs the blog entry, not the conversation – the “what” – that’s carried on comments.

“Somehow the engine is able to distinguish between links in a blogroll or sidebar that is permanent, and links in your post or comments that gets archived.”

Actually, unless things have changed, Technorati still favors front page links and thus blogrolls have an advantage over blog entries. You might find this interesting: (PDF) edit: dead link removed.
Be sure to read Note 6. By using the “more” tag, you’re not only moving content off the front page, your making it inaccessible to Technorati. Thus any links after that tag aren’t counted. Again, only if this hasn’t changed, say, in the past year or so. I’ve not bothered to pay attention (and besides, I don’t use the “more” tag until I condense an entry; usually about a week after posting which is when I move it off the first page).

“I guess (and this is guessing here) that’s why if you look at your technorati rank its a number derived from (xxx links from yyy blogs). Of which the “xxx linksâ€

Design Translator
Feb 10, 07 – 6:51 pm

Hi csven,

Always a good discussion.

Tracking links is *not* tracking “what people are sayingâ€

Feb 10, 07 – 9:54 pm

“Always a good discussion. … The assumption here is people who talk more about the issue, will leave their website as a trackback.”

Note that I’ve not left any trackbacks. This “good discussion” is not being documented by Technorati.

“BTW that PDF link did not work?”

Wish I could preview a comment so I could test code. If I could, I would. In any event, this should do (but it’ll be copy and paste):

“However the use of the “moreâ€

Feb 11, 07 – 12:39 am

correction: “to see if people still complain about me NOT showing the whole post”

Design Translator
Feb 11, 07 – 5:22 am

Note that I’ve not left any trackbacks. This “good discussionâ€

Feb 11, 07 – 6:42 am

“Well it is! If you look at your name on the left of your post comment, its a link back to your website is it not?”

No. It isn’t a discussion being documented by Technorati.

First off, it isn’t a “trackback”. There’s no response to this blog entry on the other side. It’s nothing more than a link to my blog’s front page.

Second, Technorati *isn’t* scraping that link because it’s not on the front page here. So even if it *were* linking back to a response (part of the discussion, or “conversation” as Technorati defines it), there’d still be no documentation of this conversation.

In addition, it isn’t being added to my Technorati ranking (nor should it be). So basically its only use is for your visitors… and their use of it is *not* recorded by Technorati.

“Well I cant complain as its a free service and they do track 55 million blogs.”

Actually, you could complain. While it’s a “free” service, it’s a business that’s making money off of your labor (you might remember Regine’s problems last year –

“I have the same problem and just reciently deleted all the feeds I have not read in the lase 6th months!”

hahaha. All-you-can-eat can be difficult to digest.

“congrats on your retainer”

Thanks. But that ended on 01 Jan (and I declined another project – too many hours/week). Now on to other things.

[…] issued any kind of penalty to the participants in the 2000 Bloggers meme, as I just read over on Design Sojourn in a comment by Ian Kallen of Technorati. Just to clarify: Technorati is not taking punitive […]

A note about commenting: We value your comments as they provide different perspectives that we can learn from and/or improve our products as we see this blog as a platform for interaction and exchange with our friends. However, whilst we welcome constructive criticism, we do not tolerate offensive and disrespectful comments. Postings deemed inappropriate will be removed.

Finally, to avoid auto deletion from spam filtering, we kindly ask that you use your personal name or initials instead of your business name. Thank you and I hope you enjoy being part of the design conversation!